Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Help Me Howard: Online Scammer
If you've ever bought or sold anything online, listen up. A South Florida man, falling victim to a sneaky scam, when he tried to sell a pair of expensive sneakers. It's tonight's Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Call Keven a sneaker head and you wont get an argument from him.
Keven Rodriguez, No School Trip?: "I started in seventh grade. In the beginning it wasn't about the money or about selling it was just collecting the shoes."
Keven collected as a young teenager. Now he is a college student studying architecture and the collector has to start selling his collection.
Keven Rodriguez: "There's a trip to Europe to learn an experience and you go for 19 days."
The college trip to study architecture in Europe will cost $4,000 dollars. To raise the money, Keven decided to sell some of his prized sneakers.
Keven Rodriguez: "Lebron A Pre Heats. When Lebron James came to the Miami Heat he came out with the shoe."
Keven had waited 17 hours in line and paid $160 to get the Lebron sneakers. But school comes first, so he put them on Craigslist with other sneakers from his collection. Then waited for the buyers.
Keven Rodriguez: "This guy sent me a message for the shoes. He wanted to buy them for $700 and that was my highest offer at the time so I said yeah."
Keven is a good honest person and thought nothing of it when the buyer made a request.
Keven Rodriguez: "That's when he asked me to ship to him in Deltona, Florida but he said on PayPal he lives in Chicago."
Remember that- the buyer wanted them shipped to a different address than his paypal address.
Keven soon found out it's a scammer's trick.
Keven Rodriguez: "He transferred me the money through PayPal and then after he received the shoes he went to PayPal saying I didn't send him the shoes."
Keven called the phone number the buyer had used to try to straighten it out.
Keven Rodriguez: "The phone number was actually a fake phone number. I guess you can call it. It's an app that you sign up with an e-mail and they give you a phone number for a month."
The crook had signed for the shoes, but after he filed a dispute, PayPal returned his money. Now he had the cash and the sneakers. So Keven filed a complaint with PayPal and says he got stomped.
Keven Rodriguez: "Because the two addresses are not the same, so once they see that, that's it."
Well Howard, the crook used a different address than his registered PayPal address. Does that mean Keven doesn't qualify to get his money back from PayPal?
Howard Finkelstein: "Keven does not qualify to get his money back from PayPal because their terms require that the merchandise be sent only to the buyers authorized address. And even though the buyer requested Keven send it to a different address, it gives PayPal the legal right to refuse to reimburse him. The only option- sue the buyer but finding them and suing won't be easy."
PayPal is now investigating the person who bought Keven's sneakers. If PayPal finds out he has a pattern of ripping sellers off, they will block him from using PayPal, but Keven still won't get his money for the shoes. We had more questions, but PayPal told us they couldn't answer them.
Howard Finkelstein: "Sadly, there are criminals out there and trust me, they have read the PayPal agreement and know exactly how to rip off the honest people. The lesson- read the agreement because you never know who you are dealing with."
So not only did Keven lose a prized pair of sneakers, the loss of the $700 means he will probably not be able to go with his class to study architecture.
Keven Rodriguez: "That would have put me really close to the trip but now it looks like its not going to happen."
Patrick Fraser: "Keven was selling. If you are buying through PayPal or any website, if you use your credit card that will give you another layer of protection because you can dispute the charge with your credit card company. In Keven's case, that won't help. He wanted to learn about architecture in Europe, instead he learned about crooks in America."
Paid a company and discovered they don't act like a pal. Now you all tied up. Sneak er over to us. We collect people's troubles and sometimes we can run in with a solution.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com